Happy Andean New Year!

The Inti Raymi or ‘Festival of the Sun’ is celebrated on the 24th June every year near the city of Cuzco in Peru, the capital of the ancient Inca Empire.   The main event is the reconstruction of the Inti Raymi as a theatrical play in Sacsayhuaman.   Today it marks the Andean New Year.

In Inca history, Inti was honoured as a sun-god, considered to be a giver of life, and the celebration was during the winter solstice as a way of worshipping the sun god before the long winter.  The symbol of the Inti god (the sun) can also be seen on the flags of Argentina and Uruguay.

During the times of the Inca Empire, celebrations included lots of drinking, eating and sacrifices. Nowadays, celebrations in Peru don’t include the sacrifices!

If you are lucky enough to be travelling to Peru to join in the festivities, learn to speak Spanish and find out more about the Peruvian culture before you go.